Written by Gigi Aklilu, Manager of U Street Main Street

Upon arriving in Washington, DC for graduate school over ten years ago at Howard University, one of the first things that my new friends and colleagues told me to do was to go out and experience the U Street Corridor. 

I had a longtime friend come to visit me that year, and we decided to dive headfirst into all that U Street had to offer. It turned out to be an amazing history lesson for us both, and being able to learn and experience that made it even sweeter during the Christmas holiday season. 

  • African American Civil War Museum
  • African American Museum
  • Ben’s Chili Bowl
  • Howard Theatre (New Year’s Eve Party)
  • Howard University
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza
  • Lincoln Theater (amazing shows)

These landmarks represent Washington, D.C.’s rich history and showcase how resilient and strong the city has been throughout all of its trials and tribulations over the last 60+ years. 

Since that Christmas, I have continued to enjoy the holiday light displays and seasonal celebrations all along U Street – from constant high energy that radiates from Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant to the vibrant sounds of JoJo’s live music. No matter what the city may be facing (current times no exception), U Street’s rhythm and strength remains.  

I believe this strength will help the Main Street corridors rise above today’s obstacles and thrive for many holiday seasons to come. 

Picture the things you love most about your neighborhood. What about the small businesses that make our community unique? If you don’t act now, the COVID-19 crisis could irreparably damage the places you love most.  As we begin to understand the cascading impacts the last several months are having on our economy, the resources we rely on to support small businesses will be significantly restricted.

That is why we need your support today to ensure that District Bridges and our Main Street programs will be here for our businesses and community in the coming year.